## Fine Motor Precision Math Engineering Activity

This fine motor activity is one that works on the super small motor skills of the hands.  We’ve shared tips and ideas for building precision of grasp and release before, and this is one more way to build those skills, with a math and engineering twist.  This is a fine motor math activity with major benefits.

If your kids are anything like mine, then they love blocks.  If I pull out a bin of blocks, then we’ve got ramps, castles, and houses all over the living room floor.  They are an imagination booster and it really is so much fun to see where the creativity goes with just a bin of blocks.  The OT in me loved this activity for it’s creative math twist and for it’s fine motor power punch!

You might also want to check out our math maze activity for more hands-on math fun.

### What is precison of grasp and release?

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Precision handling of very small items with controlled movement is necessary for dexterity in functional grasp.  To manipulate items with small motor motions, the hand needs to be in a functional position.  The index and middle digits must oppose the thumb with tip-to-tip finger contact and interphalangeal joint range of motion.  opening and closing the grasp on items with control is precision and allows the hand to grasp small objects from a refined area and enables the hand to release objects in a specific location.

Precision in of grasp and release allows us to pick up a specific colored bead from a tray of many colors and place it on a string.  We used foam blocks and small balls of clay to practice precision of grasp and release.

### Fine Motor Precision Activity

Rolling balls of clay develops the intrinsic muscle strength of the hands.  It opens up the thumb web space and encourages flexion of the interphalangeal joints in the fingers.  Once we had rolled a collection of small clay balls, we used them to work on precision grasp and release with the foam blocks.

One area that my kids have discussed in both kindergarten and second grade this year is the term vertices.  We talked about the number of vertices on different shapes and placed a small clay ball on each vertice.  Carefully placing the clay on each corner required precision to pick up the clay and to place it precisely on the corner.

### Math Engineering Activity

Once we had each corner covered with clay, we thought it would be fun to engineer a tower.  It was fun to explore the different ways we could build the towers using graded controlled movements to prevent the whole tower from falling.

This was such a fun exercise in fine motor skills and one we’ll be doing again!

Looking for more learning activities with foam blocks?  Try these:

Roll a CVC Word Game from Mom Inspired Life

Sticky Foam Blocks from Teach Me Mommy

Making Ten Math Activity from School Time Snippets

Foam Blocks Stacking Activity from Something 2 Offer

If you liked this activity, you’ll love these:

## Easy Shapes Big Rig Craft

We love easy kids crafts.  When you can add learning and crafting, it’s just bonus!  We’ve made a few other easy shape vehicle crafts before: Our fire truck craftschool bus craft, and Backhoe craft were all big hits in our house.  We continued the easy shapes learning with a Big Rig Truck craft.  This one was easy and fun!

### Easy Shapes Big Rig Truck Craft

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We used a few materials to make this big rig craft.  We used a sheet of

orange cardstock, black cardstock
, and a piece of white printer paper.  This craft was so easy to throw together.  I cut out the simple shapes to build the Big Rig truck, but older kids could do the cutting for you and work on scissor skills at the same time.

The nice thing about using card stock is that it is more resistive and slows down scissor snipping.  It’s a great resistance for new scissor users to practice with while working on line accuracy and controlled scissor use.

For this truck craft, you need three black circles, three smaller circles, a rectangle, a square, and a small white square.

This craft was almost like a puzzle and a little brain booster for Little Guy to build.  I showed him the truck shape and then took apart the pieces.  He had to recall the image and build the truck on his own.  Younger kids would require more verbal cues or a visual example of the truck craft.

This simple craft was a big hit and a fun continuation of other easy shape vehicles we’ve crafted.  See them all here:

## Easy Shapes Backhoe Craft

We’ve been making a few Easy Shapes crafts with vehicles recently.  A school bus or fire truck craft are fun ways to create and learn shapes with little ones.  The crafts are great teaching opportunities for vehicle lovers!  We made this Backhoe craft with simple shapes:

## Backhoe craft for kids:

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We started with yellow and black cardstock and cut some simple shapes to make the backhoe.  Rectangles, circles, squares, and semi-circles make up this backhoe.

Baby Girl (almost 3) made this like a puzzle.  I showed her how to make the backhoe and then she had to build hers.  She could copy my model or build her own.  We talked about the names of the shapes as we went.  Little Guy (age 5) enjoyed remembering how to make the backhoe and then building the construction vehicle on his own without a model.  This is a great way to practice visual memory.

## Visual Memory Activity

Visual memory is the process of recalling visual information.  You depend on visual memory to copy letters in a word, recalling how a letter looks, and in reading.  Recalling how this construction vehicle was built was a fun way for Little Guy to work on these skills.

Looking for more craft ideas for the kids?  Follow along on our kids crafts Pinterest board.